The Latest: Flood kills 12 residents of assisted living home

The Latest on deadly flooding in Europe:

BERLIN — Operators of an assisted living facility for people with disabilities in western Germany said Friday that the number of residents who died in flooding has increased to 12.

German news agency dpa quoted the chief executive of the Lebenshilfe association in Rhineland-Palatinate state saying only one of the 13 people missing from the facility had been found alive.

Matthias Mandos said a staff member managed to move several residents of the home in the town of Sinzig to the first floor as waters from the nearby Ahr river rushed into the building.

By the time the staff member tried to get others to safety, it was too late, Mandos said.

Psychologists were on hand to help traumatized employees and residents, he added.


BERLIN — German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he is “stunned” by the “devastating effects” of the flooding across parts of western Germany that has killed more than 100 people and left hundreds missing.

Steinmeier pledged the German government’s support to the families of those killed and to cities and towns facing significant damage.

“In the hour of need, our country stands together,” Steinmeier said in a statement Friday afternoon. “It’s important that we show solidarity for those from whom the flood has taken everything.”

Calling the events a “tragedy,” Steinmeier said he had been in touch with state and local officials in the affected areas and that they used “shocking words” to describe the situations on the ground.

The crisis, he said, underscores the impact of climate change and the need for forceful action to combat it.

“Only if we decisively take up the fight against climate change will we be able to limit the extreme weather conditions we are now experiencing,” Steinmeier said.


COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Denmark’s foreign minister called the devastating floods across parts of Germany and Belgium that have killed at least 100 people “utterly heartbreaking.”

Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod wrote on Twitter that “Europe must and will stand together in this tragedy.”

He said Friday that his thoughts were with the victims and their families.


BERLIN — At least 100 people have died in devastating floods across parts of western Germany and Belgium as search and rescue operations continue for hundreds more still unaccounted for.

Authorities in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate said 50 people had died there, including at least nine residents of an assisted living facility for people with disabilities. In neighboring North Rhine-Westphalia state officials put the death toll at 43, but warned that the figure could increase.

Rescuers rushed Friday to help people trapped in their homes in the town of Erftstadt, southwest of Cologne. Regional authorities said several people had died after their houses collapsed due to the ground sinking.

Speaking to German broadcaster n-tv, county administrator Frank Rock said that authorities had no precise number yet for how many had died.

“One has to assume that under the circumstances some people didn’t manage to escape,” he said.

Authorities said late Thursday that about 1,300 people in Germany were still listed missing, but cautioned that the high figure could be due to duplication of data and difficulties reaching people because of disrupted roads and phone connections.

In a provisional tally, the Belgian death toll rose to 12, with 5 people still missing, local authorities and media reported early Friday.

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